Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

By General Wesley K. Clark | Go to book overview
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FIVE
CARROTS AND STICKS

IN MARCH 1998, on a visit to review U.S. troops working with the U.N. Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in Macedonia, I was invited to join U.S. Ambassador Chris Hill and Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov for a meeting in the President's office.

It was almost dark when we arrived. Gligorov and two of his ministers were congenial and candid. I had known Gligorov since the early days of the Dayton shuttle negotiations. He was the "grand old man" of Yugoslav politics, already over eighty years of age, with a full head of hair, a strong grip, and a keen mind. His most pronounced feature was the inch-deep round hole in his forehead, over one eye, the result of near-fatal injuries from a 1995 assassination attempt.

Gligorov always had interesting things to say about the region. He seemed to know all the Balkan leaders personally, and had been associated with the top leadership in Yugoslavia since the late I940s. And he was no friend of Milosevic—he had seen him at work too often, and continued to feel the threat posed by the Serb troops along his northern border and by Milosevic's refusal to adjudicate the boundary. For him the small U.S. troop presence was critical, and I expected yet another entreaty to keep the troops there indefinitely.

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